Gina Laurenzi (dance, co-director of T2D)
A UWM Dance Department graduate and fourth season Danceworks Performance Company (DPC) member, Gina Laurenzi previously trained as a Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago scholarship student, under Elements Contemporary Ballet’s Artistic Director Michael Gosney, and performed with both Giordano II and Inaside Chicago Dance.
Gina was the Coordinator for the YMCA Dance Program in Kenosha, WI where she gained experience teaching ages 3-Adult in ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern, contemporary and improvisation. A desire to give back to her community and spread a knowledge of the arts compelled Gina to create Laurenzi Dance where she ran the studio class program until 2013. Previously, Gina served as the Owner/Artistic Director of her youth performing dance companies where she produced thoughtful themed events with her young artists of Laurenzi Dance in Kenosha. Gina further shares her love of the arts here in Milwaukee by teaching for Danceworks, and as the Artistic Director of the Danceworks Youth Performance Company (DYPC).
Christal Wagner (dance, co-director of T2D)
Christal Wagner has her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Professionally she gained her start with Milwaukee based company Your Mother Dances in 2006, spending 4 seasons with the company dancing locally and abroad at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. While with YMD, she performed in works by David Parker including his theatrical work Nut Cracked, Heinz Poll performing his famous Bolero, and numerous works by the Artistic Director, Elizabeth Johnson. She currently performs with Danceworks Performance Company and is in her seventh season with DPC.
While with DPC She has performed work by Sean Curran (NY), Emma Draves (Chicago), Amii Legendre (NY), Janet Lilly (Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane), and Simone Ferro (UWM Chair). Her featured work includes solo performance in DPC’s Maria de Buenos Aires (2011), Solo Performance in MFA Graduates Amii LeGendre and Carrey Foster’s Museum of Narrow Places (2011) and a featured performance in Present Music’s Around 30 Concert (2012), celebrating milwaukee artists around the age of 30. Currently she choreographs for Danceworks Performance Company, Cadance Collective, and Community Theatre Works, working with anywhere from 85-100 kids and professionals each summer on full length musicals put to stage in as little as 4 weeks. In film, Christal has worked performed for Milwaukee director, Tate Bunker in his independent film, Studies in Space, which premiered at the 2012 Milwaukee Film Festival. Christal also choreographed and performed for the 2013 Dance Your Ph.D film competition in collaboration with engineer, Dr. Tim Hunter.
2rees is making several original pieces of work for Two 2 Duet. We are in the process of making the dance pieces while receiving samples of this artists curious, beat driven, electronic work. Check out their Soundcloud.
2rees love for sound was seeded 31 years ago. Their own creations sprouted in Berkeley, California, back in 2010. Since then, love, drugs, heartbreak, travel, a dog, good friends and great family have influenced many new branches and buds. Their roots have spread from Illinois to Wisconsin to California and back. Their networks, vast. Their songs, neverending.
Every seed is a root, every root is a trunk, every trunk is a branch, every branch is a leaf, every leaf is a flower and every flower is a tune. Together they make a 2ree. Together they make a symphony.
Dustin Laurenzi (music)
Chicago saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi has developed a distinctly personal approach to improvisation and composition that has garnered the attention of the city’s creative music community. Recognized for his “offbeat approach to articulating harmonies and constructing melodies” (NextBop), Dustin’s music is inspired and informed by jazz, folk, improvised music, and contemporary classical music. His wide range of influences and inventive improvisational sensibilities have made him a sought-after musician in many circles of Chicago’s rich music scene.
Dustin has been a leader/co-leader of his own projects, Twin Talk, Snaarj, and Natural Language, and a member of the Marquis Hill Blacktet, the Quentin Coaxum Quintet, and Katie Ernst’s Little Words, among others. He has released several albums featuring his original compositions, including Twin Talk’s eponymous release, praised by Chicago Jazz Magazine as “a cohesive and original album that brims with a vibrant fluidity and a poetic sense.” In addition to performing and recording with Chicago jazz-centric projects, Dustin has spent the much of the last year touring with Grammy award-winning artist Bon Iver, with performances at Coachella Music Festival, Primavera Sound, the Hollywood Bowl, among others. Dustin also appears on the band’s critically acclaimed 2016 release 22, A Million.
“Laurenzi has already achieved one of the toughest things to do in jazz without overdoing it: a genuine presence.”
– Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
Josh Halverson (film)
Josh asked Christal to collaborate on a dance for the camera film in April 2017. His newest and first dance film will be appearing in the fringe festival as a teaser to a longer film he is working on. Check out his website to learn more.
Cadance Collective (dance and music)
Founded in 2012, Cadance Collective creates an interface where music informs dance and dance informs music. This ensemble treats music composition and dance choreography as common tools in creating original performance pieces. Cadance Collective performed at the Inaugural Milwaukee Fringe Festival in August, 2016, and has been a featured guest artist on several subscription concerts at Danceworks Performance Company.
The company has created commissioned work for the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center and the Battery Factory, the Shorewood Senior Resource Center, and the Cedarburg Cultural Center. Cadance Collective’s work has received favorable reviews from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Magazine and Shepherd Express, and has received global attention in the Epoch Times.
Steve Wolff (spoken word)
Steve is good friend and talented Music Director, Teacher, Pianist, and Poet/Writer. He has made an original piece of spoken word to premier at the fringe festival spoken by dancer Christal Wagner. This piece emerged out of a conversation that Steve and Christal had about feminism and womanhood in this new century.
Take a look at the poem Here and all the notes Steve included in this danced version.
Steve Wolff, M.M.A, M.M.A, did his undergraduate work at Marquette University, where he studied English Literature, Fine Arts, Philosophy, and Theology (two majors, two minors), taking his baccalaureate degree in English Literature. His Master’s degrees, are from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, in Organ Performance and Music Composition. He has also studied extensively at the graduate level, at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and the University of Toledo, Ohio: orchestral conducting (with Robert Spano, Principal Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra), musicology, and classical piano (Frances Burnett, student of Gina Bachauer); and extensively privately and through self-tuition choral conducting, jazz piano, classical guitar, and voice (he studied voice with Barbara Streisand’s teacher, Margot Rebet). He has had numerous commissions of compositions and his music works are published by GIA, Belwin Mills, and Thomas House. He has over 250 original compositions: symphonic works, a trumpet concerto, a double concerto for saxophone and piano, and string orchestra, a string quartet, a song cycle, a dozen or so compositions for big band; numerous choral, organ, and piano pieces; and songs and jazz tunes. He has performed from 50 to 80 concerts a year in churches and venues in the greater Milwaukee area with Prata (a horn and piano/organ duo with Mike Keegan, French Horn), with Procyon (a jazz duo with Todd Domenget, string bass), and with his bother Justin Wolff (trumpet, classical and jazz), and as a soloist (piano and organ). He has recorded with Todd Domenget, Justin Wolff, and Mike Keegan.
Steve’s most important work, however, has been his work in the church and he has been a church musician most of his life (since the sixth grade). He has served congregations large and small in Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, and Episcopal Churches, the most notable being Gesu in Toledo, Ohio, and here in Milwaukee, All Saints’ Cathedral (where he was Music Director, where he started a concert series, and where he co-founded and sang in the early music quintet, Cathedral Voices, and sang in and directed the Artist in Residence Group, The Bach Collegium Choir which performed cantatas of Bach with Musical Offering, a Baroque orchestra and the umbrella Baroque music presenting organization). At St. Mark’s, Steve has organized, notably, an Artist in Residence Program which involves the regular participation at Sunday worship of Artists in Residence in Trumpet, French Horn, String Bass, Classical Guitar, Flute, Violoncello, and Composition.
Further, Steve has also had six businesses: a piano tuning/repair company; two residential/rental real estate companies; a bar/restaurant—Jim Hegarty’s Pub; a high-tech aeonautics instrument company (holding 5 patents) with James Foskett (orthopedic surgeon, airplane pilot, and artist)—Convergent Aerospace; and a medical instrument invention think tank, also with Jim Foskett—Medical Arts Associates.
Dani Kuepper (choreography)
Dani is setting a piece of work on Christal and Gina that plays with the idea of canon. Canon is thought of as a musical term, but can be danced just as easily. Canon: a piece in which the same theme is begun in different parts successively, so that the imitations overlap. Check out her Bio Below.
Dani Kuepper joined Danceworks Performance Company in 1998 and has since choreographed more than 30 dances for the company. As a Danceworker, she has enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate extensively in the Milwaukee community with established organizations as well as independent artists. Dani received both her BFA and MFA from UW-Milwaukee, where she has been a faculty member of the UWM dance department since 1999. As an undergraduate at UWM, Dani performed the solo, Mrs. Schultz, at the national American College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She was honored in 2009 as a “Forty Under 40” recipient by the Business Journal of Milwaukee and also received the UWM Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award for non-tenure track in instructors in 2010.